Thursday, January 12, 2006

Switched On: CES shows off the new wave of Wi-Foes

Ross Rubin at NPD Group writes his regular "Switched On" column at Engadget about WiFI and where it stands as an access technology both inside AND outside of the home. Rubin writes that the:

rollout of EV-DO by Verizon Wireless in late 2004 began the first credible alternative to hotspot access. Its success prompted Sprint and Cingular to roll out high-speed data networks as well, even as revenue prospects beyond notebook access remain murky. WiMax will emerge as another potential competitor for WiFi, particularly for campus use as the mobile version of that standard starts appearing in products. That WiFi would see strong competition as an access technology outside the home was not surprising. However, at CES a new wave of wireless and wired technologies is taking their shot at the standard in the home.
Rubin takes a look at technologies as well as some products using Ultra Wideband (UWB), Wireless USB, Wireless 1394 (FireWire) and Bluetooth. Rubin concludes that:
And speaking of wired connections, they too are targets for substantial upgrades in 2006, with new versions of standards for moving data across home phone lines and powerlines being capable of sending high-definition TV signals with better reliability than even so-called “pre-n” versions of WiFi can provide. If WiFi backers can’t keep the popular wireless access technology at the top of its game, there will be no shortage of alternatives in 2006 and beyond to cut its marketplace cords.
Not directly mobile related, but if you plan to access data faster throughout the household from your mobile device then this all becomes more relevant....